How 1 Question Can Change Life for You & Your Company

A story about willingness to listen, learn, and take personal responsibility.

When Kyle Schwartz started teaching third grade at Doull Elementary School in Denver, she wanted to get to know her students better. She asked them to finish this sentence: “I wish my teacher knew..”

The responses were eye-opening for Ms. Schwartz.

Some children were struggling with poverty (“I wish my teacher knew I don’t have pencils at home to do my homework”); an absent parent (“I wish my teacher knew that sometimes my reading log is not signed because my mom isn’t around a lot”); and a parent taken away (“I wish my teacher knew how much I miss my dad because he got deported to Mexico when I was 3 years old and I haven’t seen him in six years”).

“I really want families to know how intentional teachers are about creating a sense of community and creating relationships with kids,” Ms. Schwartz said. “Kids don’t learn when they don’t feel safe or valued.” (Full story here.)

What an inspiring story, no?

The above is an excerpt from a NY Times story that inspired us to ask ourselves the following question: Could work relationships be improved if we asked people to finish this sentence: “I wish my manager knew..”

And then we said: Let’s do it.

Simply fill in the blank below. It’s anonymous. No one will ever know who submitted which answer.

The results will likely surprise all of us.

Some answers will be humorous, some heartbreaking, but there’s a good chance that they will all be profoundly moving and enlightening.

The results also just might open our eyes and help us understand the unique realities which employees face in order to create a better, healthier, and more supportive working environment.


—the friendlii crew


Listen, you know that people quit their manager, not their job. Just ask Google. It will tell you that the number one reason why good people leave their jobs is because of the relationship with the person they report to.

The good news is that those same employees say that they don’t need or expect to be friends with their boss. But they do need to have a relationship with them because their boss is such an integral part of their daily lives at work.

One way to improve our work relationships is to ask people for feedback. This is why the above question can highlight a lot of pain points.

It’s true that each industry has its own pain points.

And it’s also true that they are a lot of the common ones. Wanna see a common pain point? Here it is: Managers often run their companies as if their main challenges lie outside of their companies.

You know better.

You know that leadership is about willingness to listen, learn, and take personal responsibility.

That’s why you’re reading this far. (Thank you for reading this far — you rock! 🎸🔊🎶 )

So go ahead: share this story with all of your employees, colleagues, and friends. NAO.

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